Two joint administrators recently applied to the Royal Court of Guernsey seeking an order that it issue the High Court of Justice of England and Wales with a letter of request to act in aid of and auxiliary to the Royal Court in recognising their appointment as administrators of a company. While the Royal Court has dealt with incoming letters of requests, in making the application, counsel was unaware of any case where the Royal Court's jurisdiction to issue a letter of request had previously been considered.
In a 2018 decision, the Royal Court showed how far reaching penalties and sanctions can be when an individual working in a regulated industry fails to put the right procedures in place or is unaware of a rule or requirement. The implications can include significant financial penalties, a public statement and, at worse, a loss of livelihood.
It is well known that new investment company listings have been relatively sporadic of late – this is not entirely due to Brexit, but it is clear that Brexit has stalled a number of fundraisings which have gone out to market. Fortunately, once there is some clarity on the way forward, there may be a race to market. Data from the London Stock Exchange (LSE) to the end of January 2019 shows that Guernsey is home to more non-UK incorporated companies listed on the LSE than any other jurisdiction globally.
Two recent cases in the Guernsey Royal Court – one relating to the variation of a settlement and one relating to the winding up of a trust – demonstrate the complex trusts cases that regularly come before the court. The first case involved an application from two mothers on behalf of their children, whose father is a famous professional footballer. In the second, an investment firm, as the sole member of a discretionary class of beneficiaries, applied for a trust to be terminated and the trust fund to be distributed to it.
The Income Tax (Substance Requirements) (Implementation) Regulations 2018, as amended, came into effect on 1 January 2019 and apply to accounting periods commencing on or after that date. The new economic substance requirements apply to certain Guernsey tax-resident companies and have been passed in order to comply with the EU Code of Conduct Group on Business Taxation. This article summarises the current position relating to the substance requirements for fund management companies.
Increasingly stark and startling messages relating to the environment and climate change are now commonplace in the media. That is why it is so refreshing to know that Guernsey is taking a leading role on the world stage and using its strengths to produce a significant positive impact, including through the implementation of the Guernsey Green Fund.
The Office for the Environment and Infrastructure recently announced that a new deposit protection scheme will be planned before the end of 2018. The announcement follows news that a local estate agent has ceased trading, leaving some tenants and landlords uncertain of their position with regard to rents and deposits that were being held by that agent. The proposal is likely to be that Guernsey should introduce a similar, if not identical, scheme to that already in place in Jersey.
The Financial Intelligence Service's recent refusal to consent to a proposed transaction under Guernsey's anti-money laundering reporting regime has resulted in the Royal Court deciding its first private law action between the person claiming the asset and the financial institution holding it. The decision clarifies the legal framework for determining the source of funds, which will be highly relevant to all regulated entities in Guernsey.